New Year’s, New Look – 2019

I’m so excited to share this new layout with all of you! I really like this one. It’s crisp, super easy to navigate, and very professional looking. It also feels a bit more dynamic than last year’s. I’m not sure if that’s because of the contrasting aqua and purple (my favorite colors), or the widgets, or the site logo, but I do know I like it a lot.

Now, let’s get down to business and talk about what the heck happened in 2018!

In 2018 I said I wanted to:

  • Finish The Steel Armada
  • Finish Santa Sarita
  • Submit 2 short stories
  • Publish 52 blog posts
  • Read 65 books
  • Maintain my yoga practice

 How’d it go?

  • Finish The Steel Armada
    • …Yes! As far as I’m concerned, right now, this project is stamped ‘done’. It turned out nothing how I planned, and became almost a complete rewrite halfway through 2018. The Steel Armada became Exodus: Descent, a SolarPunk novella. I sent it to Tim the Agent™ back in August, but have not heard from him. I’m shelving it for now, though I have plans for future novellas set in the same world. So, final status of this project is: Done for now.
  • Finish Santa Sarita
    • No. I thought so, and then BAM, another sequel appeared. I bit off a lot with this one, and I’m a little worried about it. So, this will be a pretty high priority in 2019. I don’t want this project lingering over my head anymore. Project status: In Progress.
  • Submit 2 short stories
    • Heck yes! This was much easier to do than I thought when I made this goal. So much so that by the end of 2018 I had three stories out for submission.
  • Publish 52 blog posts
    • Yep. And then some. This was, hands-down, the best year the blog has ever had. 119 posts, an average of one comment per post, and over 5,000 hits this year has really blown my mind. Consistency really is key. Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 8.55.52 PM
  • Read 65 books
    • Yes! I read 67 books this year! It wasn’t easy, by any means, but I had just enough time and graphic novels to really pad my Goodreads Challenge.
  • Maintain my yoga practice
    • Hahaha. No. I got bronchitis two weeks into 2018 and fell out of my practice. I’m contemplating trying again this year, but with two jobs and some lofty writing goals, I’m not sure if I can dedicate the time.

2018 Total Word Count: 149,331 

Honorable Mentions

2018 was an eventful year, both personally and in my working life. I received a scholarship to attend the Oregon Writer’s Colony Annual Conference in April, which really affirmed that I’m on the right track and making strides in this whole writing life thing. Right about that time I started submitting my short stories for the first time in over four years. That was a roller coaster all its own, and has been a great learning experience and growth opportunity for me.

June saw my traditional wave of summer depression. I coped by binge-playing Horizon Zero Dawn and eating way too many Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

But, July and August were some of my most productive months of the year, with the completion of Exodus and the rough draft of my newest short story, That Which Illuminates Heaven.

September was the least productive month of the year, and reasonably so because we spent 12 days in Germany! It was an amazing trip, the exact vacation we so desperately needed, and our first journey abroad together. We hope to spend more time in Munich someday, especially for Christmas. And of course, we have other travel dreams! Ireland, New Zealand, Italy, the UK! The world is a big place, and I want to see as much of it as we can.

October was spent readjusting to working two jobs and outlining and researching for my new novel. Writing was limited and that sucked, but it was all part of the plan. It worked out, because I met my word count goal for November, with a startling 25k words! That’s about a third of the planned manuscript, which is kind of crazy if I think about it too much.

December is a busy month in our house, what with my birthday and the holiday. Add in the mental recuperation from Nanowrimo and it meant I just didn’t expect much from myself that month. But I did finish my reading goal while I let my writing muscle relax!Img bookstack 72

I read 16,300 pages across 67 titles in 2018!

I also flexed my editing muscle this year with The Audient Void. We released two issues this year, and are on the cusp of releasing a new chapbook of some of David Barker’s previously unpublished short stories, Half in Light, Half in Shadow.

2018’s word was FOCUS. It was my mantra, the thing I came back to when I felt out of control or like I was drowning in my workload. Based on how well my year went, I think it worked. So, I want to pick a new word for 2019:


I want to be purposeful in my writing, I want to take the time to better learn my craft and write with more intention. I don’t really know what that will mean for my writing just yet, but I bet I will by January 1, 2020.

What am I doing in 2019?

  • I am finishing the Tavi rough draft. I’m already a third of the way there. In an ideal world this rough draft will be done by the end of March/beginning of April. Realistically, this will take the first half of the year.
  • I will finish Santa Sarita. This is a big job still. I think, right now, I’m really stuck in my head about it. I need to sit down and start writing this story again and let it take the reins. I honestly think that’s the only way it’ll get done.
  • I will revise Cards. This is the project that comes after the Tavi rough draft. I wrote Cards back in 2014, and I’ve learned a lot since then. Much like The Steel Armada, I anticipate Cards will require extensive rewrites. But, I’m ready. I learned how to do that last year and I’m equipped with the skills and knowledge to do it again this year.
  • I will publish something! This is a tricky one. I don’t actually have much control over this goal. There are a lot of factors that go into getting a piece published and almost none of them are decided by me. But, I have three stories out right now. I want at least one of them to find a home.
  • I will publish two blog posts a week. I’ve got this into a rhythm now, so I’m confident I can do it again.
  • I will read 70 titles. I exceeded my reading goal this year, it only makes sense to increase it in 2019.

If time allows, I’d like to…

  • Make considerable progress (30k words) on From the Quorum. This novel is the first in a planned trilogy, and is my longest-lived idea. I first met these characters in 2009, and they are still around, patiently waiting for me to tell their story. I don’t know if I’ll make much progress on it this year, but  it will definitely be a priority in 2020.
  • Write a new short story! I have three out now that are performing well. It’s just a matter of time before one of them finds a home. It’d be nice to have one waiting in the wings and ready to go when that finally happens.
  • Submit Exodus to novella markets. I actually think this one is pretty likely to happen. But, with Tavi and Cards looming, this won’t be on my radar until the later half of the year.

There’s a lot to do in 2019. I probably bit off more than I can chew, especially since I’m working two jobs right now. There’s also always the reading and editing for Madhu and The Audient Void to consider.

So, in short, I’m a busy busy lady and nothing about that will change in 2019. I look forward to sharing that journey with all of you in the coming months.

I’ll be back later this week with the Monthly Recap!

Until then, Blogland.



It’s That Time of Year…

Oh, Blogland.

I’ve abandoned you. Yet again. But, it wasn’t just you. I’ve played hermit from so much of my life this last month, and only now do I appear to survey the damage.

Aside from a missing email from The Audient Void that I need to address, things seem to have held up all right in my absence. I’m ready to get back into it.

I mean, after New Years. Because, let’s be honest, I’m not getting shit done until the holidays have come and gone.

But, last thing you all knew I was halfway through NaNoWriMo. Let’s bring everyone up to speed.

NaNo was…. a success. I wrote a total of 11,444 words. That’s just over 3k short of my goal of 15k, and I have no doubt that I could have done much more if I’d been more disciplined. That word count reflects only two weeks of writing. Not too shabby for someone who thinks she’s so rusty.

It gives me hope for the coming year. I have the words, and the stories. I just have to get the muscle toned again. I can do thaperseust. As long as I keep to a schedule.

In the meantime, the writing room has really come together. A new sofa now graces the wall across from the window, and I’ve got some new organizational items that were dirt cheap at Goodwill. All that’s left is a nice arched lamp over the sofa, a tiny side table, and a rug.

You know, to tie the room together.

But, it’ll get there.

Since this will most likely be my last post of 2016, let’s talk about goals.

Next year I want to do the following:

  • The Steel Armada draft #3
  • Submit The Portrait of Sterling Madison to The Audient Void
  • From the Quorum rough draft
  • Cards draft #2
  • Publish 104 blog posts — 2/week
  • Read 60 books

That’s a lot of stuff, I know. But, I’m only working 30 hours a week right now, and I’m not going to school. I need to pick things up and get to work.

Now, the year in review. What the hell happened to 2016?

Well, for starters, we bought a house. For years that seemed like some far off dream, a foolish mirage we were chasing through the desert of our twenties. And then suddenly we had the keys and so much more responsibility than we could have ever prepared for. I’ve loved every single moment. And it’s been an admitted time-sink.

I mean, we built that…

We got a dog! Another, adorable, totally worth it time-sink.

I finished my Bachelor Degree! Over half the year was spent busting my ass to get those three words on my degree: Magna Cum Laude. It feels good every time I glance up at the degree hanging on my wall. Damn good.

I wrote over 16k words of From the Quorum, and got The Steel Armada into its second draft. I also completely gutted The Portrait of Sterling Madison, priming it for a rewrite in 2017. Plus acting as an Editorial Consultant for The Audient Void.

I worked an average of 48 hours a week until mid-November. Usually more than that.

And I’m on track to read 61 books this year.

Tack on a couple weekend getaways, friends with life changing events, and beginning a DnD campaign. I’ve been really busy this year… Here’s hoping that 2017 mellows out so I can shut the real world out and get back to fiction.desk

From where I’m sitting now, in my very nearly finished “writing room”, things are looking good.

I hope your holiday season is full of warm, tasty food, shared with the people your care for most. Thanks, as usual Blogland, for getting this far.

I’ll see you all in 2017.